October is CyberSecurity Awareness Month, but it's always a good time to be an educated and aware user of technology.
As an example, we have had some of our users get an alert from a web site about a virus on your computer. This is a malicious web site and the information is completely false but they want you to call them and give them money so they can 'help' you with your computer. Please remember that we would never contact you this way or request any money at all (although we do need to plan for retirement :-) and you should ignore anything you feel might be suspicious and report it to your school technology staff if you're concerned.
To help everyone with some tips and tricks for being an aware, skeptical, critical thinking technology user we'd like to offer the following links that are full of resources for you to use yourself, or to share with others. Each of you is a target by those that would like to use your information or your identity to take advantage of you or your finances. Don't be a victim! Learn how to use technology safely and securely. You are never too young or too old to learn to protect yourself while still getting all of the benefits available from the technology you are surrounded by.
Department of Homeland Security
Resources for Students:
Resources for Parents and Educators:
District SafeKids Page:
Current advancements in technology (including the Internet) bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Many of us know that technology is a tool, and only a tool, and as such it is neither good nor bad in and of itself. However, tools can be used for good and for bad by people. Tools can also be dangerous to those who do not know how to use them safely.
We are all concerned about the safety of our students, families, children and friends. For this reason it is important that we each learn how to use technology (and specifically the Internet) safely.
There is an overwhelming amount of positive information on the Internet for us to access which can help educate and enrich our students, but we must learn how to safely navigate to those resources.
It would be difficult to put all of the best practices on this page so we will instead list some of the more important points to remember and provide a list of some excellent resources for parents and students.
Top Internet Safety Tips
The Internet can open many doors and provide useful information for children. An aware and informed parent can help keep children safe. Recent studies, including the most extensive study of U.S. teens to date, are showing that spending time online is not a waste of time for teens.
Please be involved in your students' lives, especially their online life. The more you know and show that you care, they more they will respond positively to their own environments. Remember that even adults are taken advantage of on the Internet, your children need to be educated in the correct Internet behaviors.
Digital Media and Learning
Polly Klaas Foundation Internet Safety
Internet Safety Technical Task Force
The Safe Side (general safety for kids, highly recommended)
Family Contract for Online Safety
Internet Safety at KidsHealth
Parents' Guide at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Monitoring and Filtering Software
We do not recommend or endorse one product over another, you will need to evaluate them yourself for features, price, ease of use and compatibility with your own system). These are not intended as a replacement for parental supervision and internet user education.
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